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Bill Would Send Hidden $20 Million To Parks Fund, Prevent Park Closures

California would devote the $20 million found hidden in a state Department of Parks and Recreation special fund to keeping all parks open under a bill approved by the state Senate.

AB1478 also imposes a two-year moratorium on park closures.

The bill passed 25-12 Thursday and returns to the Assembly for a final vote.

Auditors found nearly $54 million hidden in two state park special funds, even as budget cuts threatened to close 70 parks.

Most parks ultimately stayed open with the help of local governments and community organizations that contributed before the money was discovered.

The bill creates a dollar-for-dollar matching fund to encourage communities to continue helping local parks.

The Legislature plans to spend the remaining money, which was found in an off-highway vehicle fund, next year.

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